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Rick Wakeman - Return To The Centre Of The Earth CD (album) cover

RETURN TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH

Rick Wakeman

 

Symphonic Prog

3.46 | 110 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars When I heard the first news of this album being recorded I was impatient, curious and afraid that "Return to the Centre of the Earth" would be a re-creation of the excellent "Journey of the Earth" with explicit musical references and nothing new, but at the same time I was really pleased to know that RICK WAKEMAN was trying to return to his roots.

I bought the first copy that reached Lima (A friend who owned a store called me the night when he received the album) and my first pleasant surprise was finding that Patrick Stewart was the narrator because his perfect English and calmed voice gives credibility to any project, a first point for Rick.

Surely had some doubts when I read the names of Ozzy Osbourne and Bonnie Tyler in the credits but when I listened "The Return Overture" all my doubts faded, the London Symphony Orchestra and the English Chamber Choir are simply perfect for the composition, the music was completely original but at the same time kept the pompous and wonderfully overblown spirit of the original album and in the moment I heard the first Moog performance I knew Rick was back to stay.

But there are some new things, this time he proved he could make an Orchestra and a choir Rock hard as in "Buried Alive" without affecting the atmosphere of the prequel.

Absolutely no review would be complete without mentioning the impressive keyboard performance in "Dance of the Thousand Lights" an incredible gem where Rick manages to keep the London Symphony Orchestra in the background to enhance the excellent melody without hiding his performance.

Of course the album is not perfect, "Return to the Centre of the Earth" has some flawed songs as the poppy "Still Watters Run Deep" only saved by the beautiful chorus, but over all the album is excellent.

But Rick reserves the best for the end, a brilliant reprise of the opening even more elaborate than the Overture that leaves a taste of honey in the lips of the fan.

If it wasn't for a couple of bellow the average tracks and the excess of narration the album would deserve 5 stars specially because he didn't insisted with Ashley Holt's terrible vocals, but despite the excellent moments there's something missing that doesn't allow me to rate it with more than 4 very solid stars.

An excellent addition for any Prog collection and a must have for every Wakeman fan.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |

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